Content, MSP, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Passportal Seeks Successor for Dan Wensley

Passportal and President Dan Wensley have parted ways, and the company is seeking a VP of sales and alliances, CEO Colin Knox has confirmed to ChannelE2E. The move comes as the MSP-centric password management company ramps up a Privileged Client Knowledge Management strategy for 2019.

Warranty Master CEO Dan Wensley
Former Passportal President Dan Wensley
Colin Knox, head of community engagement, SolarWinds MSP

Knox and Wensley both are well-known within MSP circles. Knox, a former MSP owner, launched Passportal in 2011. He and the Passportal team expanded the company from password management into documentation management in early 2017.

Wensley consulted for Passportal early on, and then joined as president in November 2015. He previously played key roles at Level Platforms (acquired by AVG in 2013) and MSP Partners (acquired by CompTIA in 2009).

Knox, Wensley and the broader Passportal team have generated considerable success in recent years. The company generated triple-digit revenue growth in 2018, and has averaged 200 percent growth over the past four years. Actual financial results are undisclosed since the company is privately held.

Parting Ways, But Saying Thanks

So why are Passportal and Wensley parting ways now? The answer involves an inflection point for the company. Knox and Wensley didn't necessarily see eye-to-eye on the company's longer-term business strategy, Knox says -- while also thanking Wensley for all he has done at Passportal in recent years.

Similarly, Wensley also spoke highly of his time at the company in a call with ChannelE2E. Noted Wensley in a follow-up email to ChannelE2E:

"It is with extreme pride and sense of accomplishment that I regretfully exit Passportal.  Since the day I started at Level Platforms in 2005, I‘ve had the privilege of participating in MSP’s incredible transformation as they’ve adopted and deployed emerging technologies to benefit their business while providing increased value to their clients.  Passportal continued the tradition of vendor innovation with a team of great people and a drive to service partners.  In my 4 years at Passportal, we experienced explosive growth, establishing the company’s brand and solution in the Channel.  Over the course of my career, I’ve met with and helped educate tens of thousands of MSP’s on security, service delivery automation, and new services they can implement.  However, I have not done this alone, having hired and worked with many of today’s Channel leaders. To all of you, I say thank you. As a Passportal shareholder, I wish both the company and its Partners continued mutual success. It is with a renewed passion for our industry that I eagerly look forward to the next chapter of my career, continuing to support the IT channel."

Meanwhile, the Passportal sales team is well-staffed and will report to Knox until Wensley's successor is found, Knox says.

Passportal's Next Moves

The company generally competes with such rivals as IT BoostIT GlueLiongard and Myki, among others.

Looking ahead, the company will increasingly brand around a new term -- Privileged Client Knowledge Management. The thesis from Knox goes like this: Proper documentation delivers knowledge management. Proper security ensures that only the appropriate users have privileged access to that documentation information.

The Privileged Client Knowledge Management strategy essentially is the unification of privileged password management and IT documentation, Knox says. The effort includes tighter relationships with MSP ecosystem companies like Pax8 and a range of monitoring and automation firms, he adds.

The strategy is particularly important, since MSP documentation systems essentially contain blueprints for how to access and navigate supported customer networks. Passportal's Privileged Client Knowledge Management system essentially locks down that information, Knox asserts.

No doubt, Passportal remains in growth mode. But rival IT Glue is likely larger overall, and also owns intellectual property across documentation and password management. Upstarts like Liongard (documentation) and Myki (password management) also are in the market, as is Kaseya's AuthAnvil.

Joe Panettieri

Joe Panettieri is co-founder & editorial director of MSSP Alert and ChannelE2E, the two leading news & analysis sites for managed service providers in the cybersecurity market.